The Elf and I arrived at the Comedy Central Stage at 2:30 on the day of her big show. The Mensch rolled up soon after.
This only surprised me a little. They are two of the promptest people I know.
Still, I did wonder how we (Pure & Weary and I) would be filling the 5 1/2 hours we had until their big holiday show, “We Wish Jew a Merry Christmas”. It went like this:
The first 30 minutes: Loading in set pieces and worrying about the unfamiliar but incessant rain. It turns out Los Angelenos do not like to venture out in inclement weather.
The next hour: Run through with their equally prompt and detail-oriented director, Nicole Williams.
The next two hours: Technical Rehearsal during which the stage manager, lighting director and sound board operator heard copious notes from Williams. Though some of the lighting nuances escaped me, I found the whole process fascinating.
The next 90 minute: Run through with Music Director Hillary Reynolds. Hillary and Katherine are both products of Appleton North High School’s Ron Parker/Craig Aamot school of show preparation. These run throughs are par for the course for all of them.
It did my heart good to see these two talented ladies sharing the stage again.
By the time “We Wish Jew A Merry Christmas” opened, we had covered every angle — set pieces securely stored, spike tape carefully applied, light and sound cues noted, cookies (a trademark of every Pure & Weary production) labeled and wrapped, music intros and accompaniment prepared. I was both starving (let em at the cookies!) and excited.
As I watched the audience file in, and saw some familiar faces, I thought about all the hours Katherine and her comedy partner Leah put into perfecting their craft. They meet every week to write together, test out scenes by performing live at comedy clubs around L.A., tweak, edit, adjust, and tweak some more.
So many aspects of an artist’s life occurs out of a performers control and success can sometimes feel like it happens on a whim. But, the truth is, these writers, actors, singers and directors work harder than anyone outside the industry knows.
Fortunately, for most of them, it’s a labor of love.
I loved “We Wish Jew a Merry Christmas”. It walked the perfect holiday line between humor and heart. Bonus, I learned how to play dreidel.
Here’s to Pure & Weary, Peridot, and every other performer working hard to perfect a craft.
We wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah and every success in the coming year.